A Bronx minister has been charged with having a yearslong sexual relationship with a young girl who attended his storefront church.
Prosecutors say the Jamaican-born Rev. Michael Clare has been indicted on first-degree rape and other charges. The pastor at Harvest Worship Center is being held on $50,000 bail. His lawyer’s name was not immediately available.
Clare was arrested in June after the girl told her family about the relationship. He was originally charged with second-degree rape, but a grand jury increased the charges Friday.
Prosecutors say the sexual relationship began in 2006 when the girl was 12 and ended when the girl was 16. They say she became pregnant at 15 and DNA evidence linked the baby to Clare.
Clare faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
The investigation remains ongoing.
All charges are merely accusations and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to call the NYPD‘s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1–800–577–TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1–888–57–PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers‘ website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All tips will be kept strictly confidential.